Poll: Ohioans want U.S. to leave Medicare alone

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Poll: Ohioans want U.S. to leave Medicare alone

Toledo Blade – A coalition of liberal/progressive groups has waded into the 2012 Ohio U.S. Senate race to warn hands off Medicare and cites a poll showing public opinion is on their side.

Republicans said the poll misrepresents the Medicare proposal advocated by U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, Republican chairman of the House Budget Committee, and adopted by the Republican-controlled House.

The poll by Public Policy Polling asked 1,000 Ohio voters: “In order to reduce the national debt, would you support or oppose cutting spending on Medicare, which is the government health insurance program for the elderly?”

The respondents split 76 percent opposed to 20 percent in support.

The poll was done in states with Democratic senators up for re-election in 2012, which includes Ohio with Democratic incumbent Sen. Sherrod Brown.

“This polling shows that Democratic incumbents facing re-election in 2012 will have overwhelming support if they defend Medicare and Medicaid — and will have serious problems if they vote to cut either program in any way,” said Stephanie Taylor, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, one of four groups that sponsored the poll. The others were MoveOn.org, Democracy for America, and Credo Action.

The House passed the GOP plan to privatize Medicare and shift Medicaid costs to the states last month on a party-line vote.

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